Monday, November 12, 2007

We had a nice quiet weekend here. Dinner at a friend's house on Saturday night and a lazy Sunday lunch at Cafe Baci before we all collapsed into bed for a nap. Honestly, what a luxury, being able to sleep in the middle of the day. Ella deserves a pony for allowing B and me this rare rare treat. And while its lovely that my husband still likes me enough to think that when I say I'm going to take a nap in the afternoon, he automatically thinks "nap" (wink, wink) , I was even happier that he left me alone so that I could actually sleep. I don't even care if this means we have turned a corner in our relationship. Sometimes a girl is just too damned tired, know what I mean? The stress of this kitchen project is wearing me down. All I dream about is granite countertops, undercupboard lighting, and inner cabinet storage systems. How sad is that? At the very least it is a sign that I am well into middle-age. Twenty year old hipsters do not dream about lazy susan corner cabinets.

On Saturday morning, B took off work so that we could try and make some kitchen deco decisions but it wasnt' meant to be. We drove all the way out to the marble warehouse- only to find that it was closed exceptionally for the holiday on Sunday. Because they not only take off the holiday but ALSO the eve of the holiday, when the holiday falls on a Sunday. Talk about having to read the small print. Geesh. So we drove all the way back to Paris and managed to get Ella to danse class, then thought we would pop into a few tile stores on Blvd St Germain while we waited for her.

Again, the universe was just giving us the middle finger, to make sure that we know that nothing about this project is going to be easy, because we wandered into Carrelages du Sud which has gorgeous gorgeous stuff, so much that I was like a kid in a candy shop. Each drawer is organized like a mini tear sheet, with different floor tiles, wall tiles, and countertops put together so that you can see all the different possibilities. It is just a huge inspiration looking at their stuff. And they have a design service. So rather than lay awake nights trying to figure out what stupid tile to put on the floor, I could have walked in this shop a month ago and had it all done in an hour or two. Sigh. Of course, B and I saw a sample of a gray wall tile with metal bands running through it and fell in love immediately, thinking that it would be perfect on the two walls nearest the eating area in the kitchen. B thought it was fairly well priced when he read the ticket - 80 euro. But then the salesman explained that it wasn't 80 euro a m², it was 80 euro a tile. A tile, my friends. That means that it is about 500 euro the m². And we have atleast 4 or 5 m² to tile. So we are still thinking about that...

This morning we went back to the granite warehouse (for the 3rd time) and I think that we have made the decision. We are either going to use a very light colored stone called St Croix or a more gray and beige called Jura for the countertops. Its going to mean a few months of treatments on the stone to make it impervious to staining, so we'll be covering everything with plastic and glass and wooden cutting boards to try and keep it clean but I think will be worth it. I really think it will look a lot more elegant and expensive using a very plain stone than some wild marble. Of course, as we walked out of the lot, we both looked whistfully at the slabs of white Carrera marble and the beautiful Calcutta Gold. The thing about the stone countertops is that even if they get destroyed, they aren't that expensive and it won't be that much of a disaster to have them replaced. On the other hand, the white marble is more fragile and more expensive, so its just too risky. OR is it...

Anyways, I can hear little miss E banging around in her room while she supposedly rests. Generally, I would just leave her to it for the entire nap period, figuring she'll fall asleep eventually but today I think I will just take her out with me to run some errands. Did I tell you that I thought I had found a new daytime sitter? And this sitter told me she would be available all last week? And then everytime I called, she was unavailable? Well, originally I was going to have her babysit today so I could get some stuff done. Now, I am so pissed off about how unreliable she is that I think I'll have her just once more, so I can pay for the 4 hours she did babysit and then fire her. Honestly, if she is like this the very first week of work, when she is trying to make a good impression, how can I count on her at all? Maybe I am too impatient but I just cannot stand when people waste my time. I want to pay someone who wants to earn money, not someone who acts like they are doing me a favor by coming around occasionally to watch tv while my kid takes a nap. Maybe its the same everywhere but I have to admit that I have had a fairly long string of bad experiences with my French house help and their rather shabby work ethic. I want to grab some of these people by the shoulders and give them a good shake while explaining that having a work ethic is actually a good thing.

I better just plan on staying in on Wednesday. If I run into a crowd of striking fonctionnaires, my head will probably explode from suppressed rage.

1 comment:

The Late Bloomer said...

Hmmm... it's interesting on the work ethic, whereas I have had the opposite experience, coming from the point of view of an expat doing a service for the French: I go out of my way to prepare English lessons for little spoiled kids who talk back to me and don't take my lessons seriously, and then the parents forget to pay me for weeks... then MONTHS on end. Talk about "sans gĂȘne"!! Is it a French thing, do you think?! Because I would think that when you're doing a professional service for someone, whatever that may be, that they would show more respect... It drove me crazy for months, and now that I've finally been paid (four months later!) I don't think I want to go back again. It took me long enough to learn my lesson.